PRIME minister Boris Johnson says he once swam in the river Wye at 5am and that it tasted like nectar.

Mr Johnson was asked by MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire Jesse Norman to press agencies to stop pollution.

During Prime Minster's Questions, Mr Norman said: "As the Prime Minister will know from personal experience the river Wye is one of the most beautiful rivers in Europe yet its fragile eco-system is being destroyed by phosphate and other pollution.

"The river crosses the border between England and Wales but so far it has proven impossible to get the Environment Agency, Natural England and Natural Resources Wales even to begin planning a single integrated long-term strategy to clean up the river.

"Will the Prime Minister press those agencies now and the Welsh Government at last to come to the table and will he ask ministers to look at the idea of a new ringfenced National Rivers Recovery Fund using fines paid for by the water companies so we can clean the Wye and other rivers up properly once and for all?"

In response Mr Johnson said that he had himself been for a swim in the river Wye, and the Government was urging the Welsh Government to take pollution in the river seriously.

"I had a memorable swim in the Wye myself I think at 5 o'clock in the morning once and it tasted like nectar," said Mr Johnson.

"I understand the problem that he raises and it is very important that our beautiful rivers should be clean as well.

"The Environment Minister will be visiting the Wye area shortly with or without his swimming trunks.

"I know that we're urging the Welsh Government to take this matter as seriously as this Government is."

  • This article originally appeared on our sister site the Hereford Times.